Jethro Slade

b. circa 1769, d. before 1810
     Jethro Slade was likely born circa 1769 in Virginia He was first listed on the 1790 Southampton County tax roll which would indicate that he had just reached 21 years old.1 He was the son of Samuel Slade and Mary [?]. Three of Jethro's brothers were on the Southampton tax roll earlier than Jethro, so we conclude that he was the youngest of the four sons named in Samuel's 1789 Southampton County will.2

     Jethro married Mary Harris on July 21, 1792 in Southampton County, Virginia; Jethro's brother, Samuel Slade Jr, was listed as surety and Samuel Kello was a witness for their marriage bond.3,4 Jethro purchased the 100 acre messuage plantation in Virginia on August 15, 1795, witnesses were his brother, William Slade, along with William Raiford and Shadrak Johnson.5 Jethro appeared on the tax roll in Nottoway Parish, Southampton County, Virginia, from 1796 to 1807 being taxed for the 100 Acres at 7 shillings, 8 pence rate.6 The lack of the 1800 census for Virginia residents prevents us from using that as a guide to determine the make up of families during this period.
     About 1800, Georgia began opening Indian lands for settlement and created a land lottery system as a way to distribute the Indian lands and to attract new settlers. Jethro undoubtedly saw that as a great opportunity. The Fall Line Road was the major overland migration route from Colonial Virginia to Georgia. The route followed the natural fall line and passed west of Southampton County going through North Carolina and South Carolina into Augusta, Georgia. The road continued through Georgia, passing near the town of Macon. If Jethro traveled overland, it is likely that he followed this route because he first appeared in Washington County, Georgia, not far from Macon. However, it was also possible that Jethro made his journey by water as there were ships transporting passengers from Virginia along the coast to the Georgia. Jethro and his family could have left Southampton County traveling down the Nottoway and Chowan Rivers to Albemarle Sound where a ship could take them to Savannah. From there, they could easily find passage up the Altamaha and Oconee Rivers into Washington County. Elizabeth Drewry's will dated Oct 18, 1802 leaves her 8 daughters, including Sarah Slade [wife of Joshua], each 1/8th of the remainder of her estate. The will is witnessed by Jethro Slade, Elijah Hasty and Jacob Bradshaw.7
     Evidence indicates that Jethro and his family were in Georgia by 1802. The rules for the 1805 Georgia Lottery required that a participant be a resident of Georgia for 12 months prior to May 11, 1803, have a wife and/or child or children, at least one of the children being under age of 21 years, and be a citizen of the United States in order to be eligible for two draws. Jethro is recorded as drawing two blanks in the 1805 lottery. The blanks indicating that he would not win any land. Fortunately, a list of losers in the 1805 Georgia lottery was retained by the Georgia Archives. Jethro apparently retained ownership of his land in Southampton County, Virginia just in case he did not succeed in Georgia and wanted to return. There was no record found of the sale and his name continued to appear on the Southampton tax rolls until 1807, very likely being signed as proxy for him by one of his brothers.8
     Jethro apparently died before 1810 in Georgia, before he could return to Virginia. Family tradition is that he was buried in Washington County. In 1931, James William Slade, a great-grandson of Jethro, wrote to Helen Prescott that he had gone to the cemetery to verify the grave site of Jethro and his wife. J. W. wrote that he was 73 at the time and was living in Sandersville. This compiler found a copy of this letter in Helen Prescott Papers. In March, 2003, Barbara and Hal Dayhuff made a comprehensive ground search of cemeteries in Washington County near Sandersville, but found no clues as to the actual burial location for Jethro or his wife Mary.9,10

Note: Records from the 1820 Georgia Land Lottery indicate that the Orphans of Jethro Slade drew successfully in that lottery. The land they won was in Early County, Georgia, however a search of the deed records of Early County 1819-1840 found no evidence that the property was ever owned by anyone who might be the Slade orphans or their descendants. It was common that winners often sold their land to speculators for a modest profit without ever seeing the property. That is possibly what happened in this instance. We were not able to identify any of the actual names of the orphans of Jethro Slade, so it is not known whether Simon, Samuel, William or Harris were among the orphans referred to in the 1820 lottery or not.11

Children of Jethro Slade and Mary Harris

Citations

  1. [S208] Southampton County, Virginia Land Tax Book 1782-1784, 1792, 1794-1809,, viewed on LDS microfilm roll #.
  2. [S209] Wills and Administrations of Southampton County, VA 1749-1800, abstracted by Blanche Adams Chapman 1947, 1947, Will of Samuel Slade in Will Book 4, part 1, page 389 & 390, Southampton Co. Courthouse, Courtland, VA.
  3. [S871] Southampton County, Virginia Marriage Registry 1750-1853,, page 83/729.
  4. [S128] Marriage Bonds & Ministers' Returns of Southampton County, Virginia 1750-1810 compiled & published by Catherine Lindsay Knorr [Courtland, VA Library],.
  5. [S221] Deed Record Books at Southampton County Courthouse, VA,.
  6. [S208] Southampton County, Virginia Land Tax Book 1782-1784, 1792, 1794-1809,, Positive reel 307.
  7. [S209] Wills and Administrations of Southampton County, VA 1749-1800, abstracted by Blanche Adams Chapman 1947, 1947, Will Bk 5,1797-1804, pg 358, Elizabeth Drewry's will.
  8. [S228] Virginia & Ralph Wood, 1805 Georgia Land Lottery Index Cambridge, MA: Greenwood Press, 1964), 316, oage 316, draw #1893, B B [two blanks].
  9. [S317] Letter dated 1931 from James William Slade to Helen Prescott found amoung Prescott Papers, , verified gravesites at cemetery.
  10. [S56] Helen Prescott, Helen Prescott Papers, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Libr, Chapel Hill, NC.
  11. [S653] Silas Emmett Lucas Jr, The Third or 1820 Land Lottery of Georgia Easley, SC: Southern Historical Press, 1986).